Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Saison, part 2

As a follow-up to the whole Saison planning thing, I'm having a bottle of Brasserie Fantome's "La Gourmande: Biere d'Epeautre de Hotton." I can't for the life of me figure out what "hotton" means, but "epeautre" means this is a saison brewed with spelt wheat. I've had this before and, though it's not my favorite of the Fantome beers, it's very interesting. My favorite, if you're keeping score, would be Saison Printemps, well-aged in the cellars of Toranado in San Francisco.

Anyway, La Gourmande is toward the leaner, lighter end of the saison range and thus informative for what I'm thinking about brewing. And actually, I wouldn't mind trying spelt sometime. This is a pale beer, with a generous white head and a pretty fine bead. Aromatically, it's an apt reminder of how much a cork can do for a beer. Though this is considered a tragic flaw in wine, a lot of Belgian beers get a wonderful little extra rustic complexity from corky aromas. This has that. Hops aren't too prominent. Maybe a little Saaz? Certainly no dry-hopping here, unless the beer is just super aged. Don't know the bottling date. Otherwise, the nose reveals a delicate spiciness, some graininess, not a ton going on actually. It smells quite nice, but not in a super layered way. The palate is really lovely--it's light and crisp, but with a meandering rusticity. The spelt (I guess) leaves a certain grainy, sort of rye-like spiciness. This lingers in the finish and combines with a nice mild hoppiness.

Gotta make sure I don't over-hop the new Saison. Always a danger with me.


Blogger Cyn said...

my blog has a picture of the Belmont Brewing Company in-house beer list.

12:51 AM  

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